Rumored project in Coupeville on hold

With talk of online ads and a Web site being developed, people are looking for specifics of a rumored new development that could be built in Coupeville.

Ebey’s Knoll, currently a vacant lot, is a proposed development that could be built near Whidbey General Hospital on Third Street.

The development, which is advertised online as a unique “UD” community on Whidbey Island, is proposed on a one-acre lot complete with a view of Penn Cove and Mount Baker.

Despite the rumor and the online advertising, town officials don’t have a lot of information about the development because they haven’t received an application yet.

Mayor Nancy Conard said she had an informal conversation with the developer, Seattle-based Zai Architects, about the project. She said the company proposes building flex housing, which involves townhouse-style homes that can be expanded or reduced to meet the needs of a homeowner throughout their life.

Shirley Tomita with Zai Architects said that because of the down economy, the Ebey’s knoll project is basically on hold.

She said the homes would be built as a pilot project. The homes are designed to meet the lifetime needs of homeowners and will accommodate their needs as they age.

Conard said that the property the architecture firm is considering for its project is currently zoned multi-family residential, and the project would be applicable for the property’s current zoning.

She noted that the town is considering a code amendment from Whidbey General Hospital to change the zoning of the parcel adjacent to multi-family residential. The Town Council will talk about the code amendment during a workshop scheduled this week.

Town watchdog Ken Pickard has already expressed concern about the project, peppering city officials with email queries.

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